Huntington Beach, California - The California State Parks Seasonal Ocean Lifeguard training program will host Police Officer Adam DeBoer from South Haven, Michigan in an effort to make the Great Lakes beaches safer. DeBoer will attend the eight-day Ocean Rescue academy on behalf of the City of South Haven as a continuing effort to improve the Police Department’s response to emergencies in the Great Lakes beaches, where there are currently no lifeguards.
The training will take place from Friday June 20 through Friday June 27, 2014 at Huntington State Beach, where waves are consistently 4-6 feet, and strong rip currents cause approximately 3,500 rescues per year.
So far, in 2014 there have been 24 drownings on the Great Lakes, 15 of those occurring on Lake Michigan where wind often causes waves and dangerous currents similar to those found on ocean shores.
Officer DeBoer participated in a Basic Open Water Surf Rescue course in Holland, Michigan in October of 2013 hosted by the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA), and hopes to use this more advanced training with State Parks to maximize aquatic safety not only on South Haven’s city beaches, but in the Great Lakes region as a whole.
"I’m excited about the opportunity to come to California to further my training with California State Parks and take what I learn back to the Great Lakes to improve beach
safety in the region. Hopefully this training and partnership will be the push needed to put trained open water lifeguards back on the Great Lakes beaches" DeBoer said.
Officer DeBoer will participate in the academy with 46 other California State Parks Lifeguard trainees to learn CPR and Advanced First Aid, in addition to focused training in ocean rescue, rock rescue, oceanography, sand entrapment, vessel rescue, paddle board rescue, search and recovery, and responses to various other beach emergencies.
"We are excited to host Officer Deboer in our training. It is an honor for us to share our knowledge, skills, and abilities with a location so far from our own. I find it amazing that the State Park Lifeguards efforts will benefit people who may never even come to our parks. " said Jack Futoran, Lifeguard Training Manager for California State Parks.
California State Parks employs approximately 600 Seasonal Lifeguards that work from the Mexican border to the Mendocino coast in the northern part of the state. This will be the 52nd year of formalized California State Parks Seasonal Lifeguard Training program.